A landmark genetic study described as the "Rosetta stone" of prostate cancer has opened up a new era of hope for men with advanced forms of the disease.
The findings could lead to a plethora of personalised medicines that target specific gene defects, some of which are already in use or undergoing trials.
British and US scientists who drew up the first comprehensive map of genetic mutations linked to different strains of deadly prostate cancer found that almost 90pc of the men whose DNA they studied carried potentially treatable defects.
They also found that 8pc of the men were born with genetic faults predisposing them to prostate cancer, strengthening the case for screening men with a family history of the disease.
Professor Johann de Bono, from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, who led the British team, said: "We're describing this study as prostate cancer's Rosetta stone - because of the ability it gives us to decode the complexity of the disease, and to translate the results into personalised treatment".